British Mountain Leader with Maltese connections joins MCC/ ClimbMT Training Committee

The MCC is pleased to announce that qualified Mountain Leader, Rock Climbing and First Aid instructor Jamie Bliss has joined the MCC as member of the recently set up Training Committee.

Jamie moved to Malta with his family in 1980 when he was just 6 years old and all his primary and secondary schooling was done here. By the age of 10 he’d started climbing, exploring Malta’s fantastic seaside seacliffs and sea arches, practising what is now known as Deep Water Soloing (DWS) while living on a boat berthed at Manoel Island Marina with his family.

Although Jamie moved to Scotland in 1994 he spends a lot of his time in Malta since his family and partner are still based here. He got to know of MCC and it’s UIAA accredited single-pitch instructor award project while attending club meets last year.

In terms of it’s stated objectives since the club was first set up, the MCC are working on the introduction to Malta of a Sport Climbing Single Pitch Instructor Award (SSPI) which will be accredited to the UIAA (International Climbing & Mountaineering Federation). President of the UIAA Training Commission Steve Long was invited to Malta in October last year to conduct a “Train the Trainer” course for the existing Training Committee members and also assess the competence of the MCC team. In his subsequent report he stated “I have little doubt that the (MCC)/CMT team should be capable of delivering good training courses immediately.”

It is expected that the first assessments, validated by the UIAA training commission will be conducted in the coming weeks.

Jamie’s climbing cv:

Mountain Training: Mountain Leader
Mountain Training: Rock Climbing instructor
Emergency First Response: First Aid Instructor
Scottish Mountain Rescue Team Member (Arroachar Team)
My type of climbing is adventure Trad climbing, Usually longer mountain routes, multipitch
climbing and Winter climbing.
I have put up trad routes in the outer Hebrides, and alternate (direct and non direct,
connecting) routes on the mainland and manage a crag on UKC as a result.
My family arrived in Malta when I was 5, I went to school there and at the age of around 12
or 13 I started what is now called DWS.
Fast forward to my early 20s, I was a professional yacht skipper and Rigger, spending a lot of
time in a harness, and started to climb again at around this time, nothing serious, more just
short rock climbs up to around Severe.

I moved to the Middle East in 2005 and start doing climbing trips to Oman to climb in the
Wadi’s, this type of adventure trad climbing is what I love to do, I moved back to Scotland in
2010 and continue climbing, but adding mountaineering into the mix as it fits in with my
adventure approach, mixing in mountain days with short climbs and longer mountain routes
like Tower ridge, Aonach Eagach, Curved Ridge, the usual suspects. This then became a
winter activity too, as I got addicted to the mountain environment in winter all over again, I
have snowboarded since around 1997, back country style is where I remain on a board to
this day, except it is easier now with split boards and skins.

I joined Scottish Mountain Rescue and specialise in rigging, this roughly translates to
carrying loads of gear up hills and using helicopters to wherever possible to get a lift! My
team covers 2,700 square miles of mountainous terrain on the west coast of Scotland.
As a result I was climbing more frequently, and did a few great routes, some on Rannoch
Wall, Central North Buttress and many more on Buachaille Etiv Mor, Ben Nevis and other
climbs in Glencoe, Lochaber.

As for the east coast, I have ticked off pretty much everything in Coire an t-Sneachda and
Coire an Lochain in the northern Corries of the cairngorms in both Summer (Up top HVS/E1)
and in winter (IV/V Tech 5/6)

Contact Jamie or any of the committee members for more information about the ClimbMT SSPI Award.

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